Famous Bloggers

How to Involve Readers in Designing your Blog

Ask Your Readers

What I am going to share with you today is really exciting, it’s about readers feedback, it’s about blog design, I am going to tell you how I involved our blog readers in designing our blog, and how to design a better blog by getting worthy readers feedback.

The story began last week when I decided to redesign our blog and add some new enhancements and futures to our Thesis Skin, and I was so lucky to finish this job fast in the weekend, I didn’t even need to put the blog in Maintenance Mode while redesigning or anything from that because I am very sensitive when working on it. Enough talking, and let’s go by points to organize my mind, so.. here is what I did!

Preparing a test site for my new design!

  1. I did a fresh WordPress installation a sub-domain name.
  2. Then I installed Thesis Theme 1.7 on it.
  3. I copied the old/original FB skin folder into my theme.
  4. I transfered Thesis Theme Design Options.
  5. Then upgraded to the latest version of Thesis Theme 1.8
  6. I added some sample posts with text, and images.
  7. I started to work on the test blog!

By this way I was able to redesign FamousBloggers.net away from the live site, and when I finished with all design work I started to think how I will put my new skin to it! so.. Here is what I did on the live version of the blog!

Now.. Working on the Live version of the blog

  1. I did a database and files backup
  2. I upgraded FB blog to WP 3.0.x
  3. I upgraded to Thesis Theme 1.8
  4. FTP the new skin folder
  5. Uploaded my Thesis Design Options

Then I refreshed my browser, and… I congratulated myself for the new design 🙂

Any Problems during the process?

Yes, I had a few problems with database after upgrading to WordPress 3.0.x. For some reason the blog started to load slow, and I got too many database connection errors and a lot of throttling warnings. I tried to solve this problem, I worked for hours with no use!

I contacted my host provider, I explained the problem, and I told them that I am experiencing I high level of CPU throttling and problems with database connection, they told me the problem is in the scripts I am using to connect to database!

I say to myself, this doesn’t make sense, I moved all new scripts and codes from my skin and the problem still present. Maybe the database needs to be repaired, or you know what? I think the database needs to be retired! So.. I created a brand new database and imported all data, then I connected the blog to it, and we are back to normal speed! pretty cool!

Here is a screen-shot shows CPU throttling going back to normal:

Now! we have done a great job by redesigning the blog, and also we had everything back to work normally! What’s the next step?

The next step should be testing and tweaking our new look, is it appealing to our blog visitors, but more important  than that is how our loyal readers accept it, if they like it now, and also what they think of it!

Next Step: Design a Better Blog!

I decided to make our design even better, but I needed help! and who am I going to ask? Yes.. exactly.. our blog readers 🙂

It’s time for some feedback!

Yes, I Asked and I got the Best Feedback ever!

Here is what I did!

  1. I did a blog post
  2. I share on social media
  3. I sent a newsletter
  4. I waited for respond

I did a blog post about Upgrading to WordPress 3.0 and Thesis 1.8, I told our blog readers and friends about the new design, and I asked for their help to make it better, I shared my post on social media and a few bookmarking site, I sent a newsletter to our email list and I asked for the same help and feedback. Aweber (aff) makes it easy for me to communicate with our subscriber.

And, here is what I’ve got!

It’s was amazing to hear what our blog readers and friends think of the new look of our blog, they were so kind, they simply helped us to really have a better design for our blog!

I have got amazing 35+ feedbacks and options from our readers

I don’t really know how to thank everyone sent me feedback through blog comments or contacted me via email!

A very little thing I can do is to mention all those who really helped me by giving their feedback or opinion, this is the main goal of writing this post. I must give them BIG…

Many thanks to my dear friend Will who blogs at noaspa – @noaspa (He was the first one who give me feedback via Twitter)

Are we done with Blog Design?

Working on our blog is an endless process.. so, answer is.. No, Never!

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